Thousands shielding on Rosh Hashana benefit from GIFT’s Shofar blowing & card writing initiatives23/09/20
“Thank you so much GIFT for sending someone to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana outside my father’s house. My father is 85 and was devastated he couldn’t go to shul this Yom Tov. You have no idea what an amazing Mitzva you did.”
Just one of many messages flooding in to GIFT after Rosh Hashana. This Yom Tov, as thousands of people found themselves unable to get to shul, Charity GIFT stepped in to arrange over 50 shofar blowing stations across North West London, carefully adhering, in each location, to the latest government rules. Over 1000 people in total came to the various different locations which were publicised on local street WhatsApp groups. One elderly lady, with underlying conditions, who had remained home over the past six months, said the shofar blowing was for her, the highlight of this period.
Elliot Benjamin who blew the shofar in a number of the locations noted
“ It was amazing to be involved in such a cross-communal activity, ashkenazim, sefardim, orthodox, reform all gathered (socially distant) in gardens, on the pavement and on the street to hear the shofar!”
Another GIFT initiative involved hundreds of children making Rosh Hashana cards for those isolating and in care homes. Nicci Menashe who spearheaded this initiative told us
“When I heard that residents at my local care home couldn't have family visit them on Rosh Hashana; I contacted family and friends and we set about writing and decorating cards. The fact that the elderly and isolating individuals received these beautifully personalized and decorated cards from a stranger meant the world to them and helped them feel that they were being thought about this Rosh Hashanah.” Nicci is already planning her ‘cards of care’ initiative for Chanukah. Anyone wishing to participate is invited to get in contact through GIFT on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 457 4429